Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has dismissed rumours that manager Mauricio Pochettino could return to Tottenham Hotspur this summer.
In their search for a replacement for Jose Mourinho, Spurs are believed to have reached out to Pochettino about a possible return to the club, with the Argentine rumoured to be keen to make the move.
Amid all the chaos, PSG quietly triggered the option to extend Pochettino’s contract for a further year, which appeared to be enough to scare Spurs away. They switched their focus to Antonio Conte, but after talks with the former Inter boss broke down, there had been suggestions that Spurs could return for Pochettino.
In an interview with L’Equipe, Al-Khelaifi was asked about the situation, but he didn’t even let the question finish before he jumped in to shoot the idea of a departure down.
“There’s no need to go any further,” he said. “Look, at the end of the season, I had two meetings with Pochettino, two or three hours each time. He never told me he wanted to leave. He never had an attitude that suggested he wanted to leave.
“In fact, it’s the opposite. He was totally involved in everything: the club, the structure, the organisation, what he needs for next season…he talks almost every day with Leonardo about the transfer window and the players.
“This situation really upsets me. It’s not right. He’s been here since January, he still has two years left on his contract, he’s our coach. Just like they’re doing with Kylian Mbappe, people are trying to disturb us. But we’re together. No one will divide us by doing this.”
Al-Khelaifi was adamant that Pochettino is the right man to finally take PSG to the next level and win the Champions League, refusing to point the finger at the Argentine for the team’s shortcomings in Ligue 1 this year.
“He’s one of the best coaches in the world,” Al-Khelaifi added. “What he has done for us in five months, what he did for his previous clubs, is great. Don’t forget that he also played for out club, there is a story with him. He’s the right person for us.
“Of course, we had the opportunity to win the title, but it was a very complicated season for us. The team did not have a real pre-season, we had a cascade of players affected by COVID-19, then we had to play every three days. If you look at the number of matches where we were able to field our best lineup, there can’t be many.
“These are not excuses, Lille deserves their title, they did a splendid job and I congratulate them. But we must take everything into consideration and learn from it for next season: get a good start to the league, not lose points against lesser opponents and show more commitment in Ligue 1 games.”